1: Variables Influencing Teaching and Learning
The agencies and organizations
in which we
work are evaluated and accredited by at least one, and often
several, outside bodies. Accreditation criteria should affect teaching
in our practice (as well as other aspects of practice) on a daily
basis, but, whether or not this is the case, they certainly affect
practice when preparing for a site visit. We're very aware of the power
held by accrediting bodies, and this power definitely influences the
character of practice-in this case teaching. The following example of
the powerful influence exerted by accrediting bodies comes from nursing
education, not clinical practice, but you have all experienced it.
Some years ago the NLN
(then the only body accrediting nursing
programs) revised their criteria to include one criterion specifically
addressing the development of critical thinking skills. This brought
about a flurry of curriculum revisions to explicitly include
development of critical thinking skills. Many programs revised
assignments, tests, and clinical evaluation tools to include evaluation
of critical thinking skills, and began using standard tests of critical
thinking as a component of overall program evaluation. Does any of this
Accreditation criteria can be
useful to guide evaluation of
teaching in our practice. You might begin by examining the criteria to
see whether they measure things that you consider to be important about
teaching and learning in your practice. This involves both looking at
what is there and looking for what isn't there. That is, are there
criteria that address aspects of teaching-learning that aren't
important to you? And, are there any important aspects that aren't
addressed by the accreditation criteria? Incorporating at least some
accreditation criteria into ongoing evaluation of practice can both
improve practice and make life easier when The Visit rolls around.
|Thinking about your experience ...
- Do you know what your accreditation criteria have to
say about teaching?
- How do accreditation criteria related to teaching
shape teaching in your practice?
- How can you work effectively with accreditation
criteria regarding teaching that seem to hinder rather than facilitate
teaching in your practice?